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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ECSTASY OF STEEL AND FLESH
There is nothing like epic historical fantasy to piss-off the Iranians once again. This story starts at Marathon where Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton) kills King Darius (Igal Naor) wearing a costume stolen from Emperor Ming. Darius' son Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) goes on to become a "god-king" and getting a minor role, while looking like the incarnate of evil...
Published 9 months ago by The Movie Guy

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars "This Court is now in session, Hon. Darth Maciek presiding, the accused Zack Snyder will please rise to hear the verdict"
This High Court finds the accused, producer and writer of this sequel to his own 2006 splendid masterpiece, guilty as charged of following crimes:

1. Being too lazy to direct this second film

2. Hiring a director who was an absolutely incompetent beginner

3. Being careless (or drunk?) to the point of writing a completely substandard BORING...
Published 6 months ago by Darth Maciek


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ECSTASY OF STEEL AND FLESH, 16 Mar 2014
By 
The Movie Guy "Movies from A to Z" (United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
There is nothing like epic historical fantasy to piss-off the Iranians once again. This story starts at Marathon where Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton) kills King Darius (Igal Naor) wearing a costume stolen from Emperor Ming. Darius' son Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) goes on to become a "god-king" and getting a minor role, while looking like the incarnate of evil. Persia has Artemis I of Caria (a pale Eva Green) lead the navy against Greece where Themistocles is attempting to unite the Greek city states to defeat the invading Persians. Sparta wants to go its own way. The 300 Spartans we get to see laying on the ground dead, post battle as Xerxes proclaims victory and moves on to Athens. I guess that was my bad expecting to see the 300 do battle and that whole thing about the goat path because someone put "300" in the title of the film.

This is the adult fantasy version of the story. There was plenty of slow motion blood splatter. They like the blood to land on the camera lens (or glass) and look suspended in the air for a while. The speeches given in the film were necessary for the production, but were completely boring. "Freedom is her wisdom has chosen you to defend her."

There is also both male and female narration because not everyone knows butchered Greek History. This film takes liberties with the accounts of Plutarch, Herodotus, and Polyaenus. For instance, Artemis I of Caria was actually Queen of Halicarnassus and only commanded five ships. Her character is greatly multiplied in this film.

Good popcorn film for adults. Nothing more.

Parental Guide: 2 F-bombs. Night time distant rape. sex. nudity (Eva Green )
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56 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly satisfying, 8 April 2014
By 
Griesmayer (Wien, Österreich) - See all my reviews
The Battle of Salamis was supposed to be a naval battle. Not a heroic last stand at a mountain pass like the Battle of Thermopylae covered in 300. And a naval battle in ancient times meant no fancy cannons or ships of the line exchanging broadsides amidst clouds of billowing gunpowder smoke.

And yet, 7 years of waiting has paid off. 300: Rise of an Empire is thoroughly satisfying. The violence in this film makes you grin with glee from ear to ear despite considering yourself a seasoned veteran of gore films. 300: Rise of an Empire is also not just about the sea battle, but masterfully takes us through several flashbacks without jeopardizing the story and turning it into a mess. The film also leaves enough room to create several believable characters, most prominent of all the real historic female naval general Artemisia, wonderfully played by Eva Green. Green plays Artemisia with an authoritative aura that has warrior written all over it. Xerxes takes a back seat this time, but we do get a glimpse into his past and who the man once was.

At the end of the day, if you hadn't already come to this realization 7 years ago, you need to now: 300 is a work of art, not a historic movie. It is the film adaptation of Frank Miller's graphic novels and thus sticks to the literature both in story and in art design. Hence the oversized moon. Hence the ridiculous blood splattering. When viewed in this context, it is almost impossible to find flaws in these two adaptations, as they masterfully bring the graphic novel to vibrant life.

Last but not least, 300: Rise of an Empire offers breathtaking setpieces and backdrops, and is arguably more grand than the original 300 film, although of course we aren't treated to the plethora of enemies and fantastical creatures as the first film did. Nevertheless, a well done and truly satisfying sequel. My only gripe is that the final duel should have been far more epic, and the soundtrack could have used some of the familiar thematic choirs of 300. Still, a 5, out of 5 stars.
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2.0 out of 5 stars "This Court is now in session, Hon. Darth Maciek presiding, the accused Zack Snyder will please rise to hear the verdict", 25 Jun 2014
By 
Darth Maciek "Darth Maciek" (Darth Maciek is out there...) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This High Court finds the accused, producer and writer of this sequel to his own 2006 splendid masterpiece, guilty as charged of following crimes:

1. Being too lazy to direct this second film

2. Hiring a director who was an absolutely incompetent beginner

3. Being careless (or drunk?) to the point of writing a completely substandard BORING scenario

4. Endorsing abysmally bad actors for two main roles

5. Flashing ugly silicon breasts in public

6. Sending to the front Cersei Lannister, a middle aged mother of three, dressed in a dirty nightgown and armed with a rusty meat cleaver

7. Not only using napalm in V century BC but especially using it poorly...

8. Transforming Xerxes, the gigantic King of Kings, a monument of evil, corruption and depravation, into a pathetic sidekick

9. Showing the battle of Salamis, an apocalyptic clash of fleets and warriors on a scale defying imagination, as a s***ty little skirmish won by a cavalry charge (sic!)

10. Replacing a Bad@ss Leonidas by a Couldn't Care Less Themistocles, who has all the "maiestas, dignitas et gravitas" of an used condom, when the REAL Themistocles was a titan of politics, a genius of warfare, a monument of charisma and also a man of legendary oratory talent. He was in fact so honey-tongued that, in order to ensure the final victory in war, he actually managed to convince the assembly of Athenian citizens to abandon their own beautiful and rich city without fighting - when it was obvious that as result it will be plundered and burned to the ground by Persians...

11. Presenting Ancient Greeks, one of the most warlike, aggressive, clever, dangerous people who EVER lived, as some kind of pacific clueless herbivores... Ancient Greeks were not just mere farmers, herders, artisans, merchants, fishermen and sailors - in fact EVERY single citizen was trained in a very harsh way to fight from his early childhood. All those who could afford appropriate armor and weapons would become hoplits (heavy infantry) with all others becoming peltasts (light infantry of javelin armed skirmishers). As soon as he was of age every citizen participated in wars of his city ("polis") and those conflicts were many, because war, together with philosophy and pederasty, was the favourite pastime for Ancient Greeks. Wars were almost permanent and were waged for any kind of reasons - sometimes to start one it was enough to spit over the border, on another city-state territory (not a tall order, considering the small size of most of "polis"). Small wonder that Ancient Greeks invented Olympic games, which forced all the states to stop fighting once every four years - after all EVERYBODY needs a break from time to time... By trying to show Ancient Greeks as peaceful people reluctantly taking arms against an evil empire this film is simply RIDICULOUS!

12. Showing on the screen the most appalling scene of unsuccessful copulation ever...

13. For all practical purpose destroying a promising franchise

14. Causing waste of perfectly good popcorn in a world where hundreds of millions do not have enough to eat

15. Making people vomit in disgust in the theatres and therefore causing a public health hazard

16. Abundantly humidifying his own legacy with malodorous body fluids...

Sentencing: the film receives two stars because of some visually nice scenes, especially during naval sequences; otherwise this court sentences the accused to a total of no less than five thousand and no more than ten thousand obligatory consecutive viewings of all Jar Jar Binks scenes from "Phantom Menace", 8 (eight hours) per day, seven days per week, allowing during those 8 hours only short toilet and coffee breaks and one 15 minutes lunch break. The shades of 300 Spartans are charged with supervision of the sentence.

This court is now adjourned and considering that this court was stupid enough to watch this film all the way to the end, well, this court is now going to drown its sorrows in strong liquor and debauchery on the court of the King of Kings in company of Court's Own Chipmunks. God save the Queen and all those sorts of things.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Greek swords., 12 Dec 2014
By 
Amazon Customer - See all my reviews
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A real bloodbath , but if you remember the mythology from school it excites again - at least it did me. I am no expert but I always had a liking for Greek mythology. Ms Eva Green is the complete sword swiping baddie and is a very excellent young lady. Her acting and athlecticism is the business, not forgetting her beauty. Our hero is just as good as is the Spartan queen. In all a must have film.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I am sure you will watch this video many times for the special effects alone, 26 Dec 2014
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Like most sequels they never really match the first portrayal, and this is no different although the special effects are very good the overall story doesn't seem to grip you like the first film which made you really rally on the side of the spartans and their impossible stand against unbeatable odds.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 15 Dec 2014
By 
A. D. Plumb (Bedford, Beds United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 300: Rise Of An Empire [Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + UV Copy] [2013] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Might have been OK if it had come out before 300, but that raised the bar high enough that this film was always going to struggle to reach it. Not the Glorious death it could have been.
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4.0 out of 5 stars but I loved it - great fight scenes and - unlike the ..., 21 Dec 2014
By 
Kentspur (Er...Kent) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 300 - Rise of an Empire (DVD)
Hugely enjoyable ships'n'Ancient Greece'n'blood time waster. It ain't Citizen Kane, but I loved it - great fight scenes and - unlike the original - was on ships! Doupleplusgood
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5.0 out of 5 stars Spartan History, 15 Dec 2014
Amazing film, brilliant acting with incredible battle scenes. This is a masterpiece. Increble sequel to one of the best films ever made. Loved every second
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Like a ‘straight-to-DVD’ film that was in the cinema, 17 Dec 2014
By 
Albatross "Never argue with idiots" (Suburbia) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: 300 - Rise of an Empire (DVD)
Sometimes when a film is a big hit and then it gets a sequel, the second offering gets sent straight to DVD – some of the stars don’t return and it doesn’t get the same budget as the first. ‘300: Rise of an Empire’ feels like it should have gone straight to DVD. Even though it has a reasonably sized budget and some of the actors return, it just comes across as a ‘lesser offering.’

That doesn’t mean it’s bad, just not as original and focused as the first. It serves as a prequel, sequel and also set during ‘300.’ The Spartans from the first film are now more in the background and it’s about the Athenian navy, tasked with the job of stopping the Persians.

The gore is all there again and, despite not being directed (only co-written) by Zack Synder, it retains his trademark ‘slow motion’ and speed-up type effects. Also, once again, it’s primarily shot in front of a blue screen, meaning all the backgrounds are basically computer generated. However, this time round it seems to appear a little cheaper than the first.

It has enough action to keep most fans of watching multiple people being severed in two by swords, but perhaps one of its main flaws is that the lead characters don’t really seem that strong. I read online that the part of the main Athenian – Themistokles – was offered around to some ‘better-known’ male actors, but the producers decided to go with a lesser-known one, in order to (hopefully) give him his ‘break-through’ role. I just felt they misfired there and they needed someone with a little more screen presence.

Also, the villain from the original – Xerxes – returns, yet, instead of being the unstoppable epitome of evil he was from the first film, he’s more of a sidekick villain who spends a lot of his time being manipulated by someone else.

Overall, it’s not a bad film. Just know that it’s probably not going to live up to the original. Just watch it for its action and look at it as a ‘compendium piece’ to the first.

Maybe more a 3.5 out of 5.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This! Is! Athenia! But it should be Greece., 1 Oct 2014
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
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A sequel to 300 [2007] [DVD], this new movie is based, like that was, on a graphic novel by writer/artist Frank Miller. Said graphic novel is entitled 'Xerxes,' and details the rise of the Persian King seen in the first film.

But said graphic novel is actually an unpublished one, since despite being talked about for years it has yet to see the light of day.

So we just have this film to judge it by.

You will probably struggle to get into this if you haven't seen 300. But it's probably unlikely that you'll be watching this if you've not seen that, so that might not be a problem.

Shot in the same style, with copious back projection via green screen, and lots of warriors with shields and swords and underpants cloaks and sandals. This also features fighting in the same way. With lots of hyper real and stylised sword fighting and visuals showing the results of such. Many clearly shot to make them look effective in 3d.

But this isn't just a sequel. It's also a prequel. And a companion piece. As the narrative tells of events that happened years before those in 300. Plus things that were going on elsewhere when Leonidas and his army were holding back the Persians. Plus what happened afterwards.

Things start at the battle of Marathon, when Athenian troops deal with invading Persians via Athenian shock combat. Led by Themistokles [Sullivan Stapleton] his actions that day lead to the rise of the God King Xerxes.

As said god king then launches his invasion, Themistokles and his navy fight the Persians at sea whilst the Spartans fight them on land. But for the Persians to be defeated, Greece needs to unite. Themistokles knows this full well. It's a long held dream of his. Can he make it come to pass?

Sullivan Stapleton is quite good in the lead, because he shows well how Themistokles had, in addition to leading warriors, to be the one thing Leonidas wouldn't have wanted, or cared, to be. A politician. Eva Green does superbly well as his nemesis, Persian navy leader Artemesia. Depicting a woman who Is very good indeed at suppressing and focusing her anger.

This doesn't try to do anything too different from the first film, beyond depicting combat in a similar style. But mostly at sea rather than on land. How you will react to this is going to be a matter of opinion. Depending on how much you want to see more of that hyper realistic combat style.

All of which means it can feel over familiar at times, and does lull somewhat in the talky moments.

But there are some eye catching set pieces. Some excellent naval battles. And the thing that makes it work. The history. By giving us the bigger picture of things, it does get very interesting when it's focused on that. This is the stylised mythic version of the history in the same style as the original, of course. That which tries to depict it as those who heard stories of the battles down the years after would have visualised things in their minds eye.

So it's not for the historical purist at all. But for those who want an interesting companion piece to the original, it's well worth a look.

The dvd has the following language and subtitle options:

Languages: English, Castilian Spanish.

Subtitles: English, Castilian Spanish, Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish.

The disc begins with a generic trailer for ultraviolet, which can be skipped via the next button on the dvd remote.

There's one single extra. An eight minute featurette called 'taking the battle to the sea.' Which is a short making of feature. As with most featurettes these days, it's brief but interesting anyhow.
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